In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 13, 2007 / 29 Menachem-Av, 5767

Ethanol is ruining my social life

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Congress sure does know how to cut into a fellow's social life.

A key goal of the House-passed energy bill is to subsidize government-favored energy alternatives by taxing oil companies another $16 billion.

One of the House's favorite alternative fuels is ethanol, an alcohol made mostly from corn that can be mixed with gasoline to fuel automobiles.

The concept seems grand enough. Ethanol is something we can produce in America — conceivably it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It burns cleaner than pure gasoline. Conceivably, that is good for the environment.

But ethanol has its downside. For starters, it requires lots of fossil fuels to produce. Gas-burning tractors farm the fields that grow the corn. Lots of fuel is needed to fertilize, harvest and ship the corn.

Then the corn has to be converted into alcohol, distilled and blended with gasoline. Because ethanol absorbs water, it can't be pumped through pipes. It has to be delivered by truck and train, which requires more fossil fuel.

Some argue, and this is a matter of great debate, that it takes as much energy to produce ethanol as ethanol creates — at the very least, ethanol is not the most efficient way to fuel our cars. Gasoline is, which is why we're addicted to it.

But with the government heavily subsidizing its production, a lot of folks are jumping onto the ethanol bandwagon. That's causing all kinds of nutty shifts to occur in the marketplace.

Consider: Since ethanol is produced from corn, the demand for corn has increased significantly. The cost of popcorn, according to Reuters, has shot up 40 percent since 2006.

Dairy products and beef cost more, too. This is because farm animals eat corn. The higher the cost to feed them, the higher the cost of ice cream and steak and other tasty goodies made from our friends the cows.

But here is where things have gotten really personal: Ethanol is driving up the cost of adult beverages. Bourbon, which is made from 51 percent corn mash, is also shooting up in cost.

According to Cox News, Jim Beam spent $10.3 million for 3.4 million bushels of corn in 2004. The same amount of corn will cost $14 million this year, an increase that can drive a man to drink.

German beer is more costly. In Europe, farmers are switching from barley to corn to cash in on government subsidies. Less barley equals higher brew costs.

Even tequila is going through the roof. Mexican farmers are torching their agave fields — they're destroying the succulent agave plants from which tequila is produced — and planting corn instead.

I'm in favor of alternative fuels. I am eager for America to end our addiction to foreign oil. I'm especially eager for us to stop pumping billions of dollars into countries that hope to use that dough to kill us.

But can't we think this ethanol thing through before we cut into my personal life?

Few things are as enjoyable as a fine bourbon and smooth cigar at my favorite neighborhood pub.

Now this harmless experience is going to cost me plenty.

And my old pal Jose Cuervo — his fine tequila makes one heck of a margarita — has improved the spirits of more than one lady in my company, causing her to think me way more charming and witty than I really am.

That's going to cost me plenty more, too.

Proponents of the energy bill say it will wean us from foreign oil and reduce energy costs. Opponents say the exact opposite will occur.

But I think the bill's real intent is to make us date fewer women and drink less alcohol.

Like I said, the Congress really knows how to cut into a fellow's social life. I'm shocked its approval rating stands at 29 percent.

I can't believe it's so high.

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© 2007, Tom Purcell